Fiveband Wrasse, Hemigymnus fasciatus (Bloch 1792)

Other Names: Banded Thicklip, Barred Thicklip, Barred Wrasse, Five-banded Wrasse

A Barred Thicklip, Hemigymnus fasciatus, at South Murion, Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia. Source: Andrew J. Green / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution


Juveniles are dark brown with six narrow irregular white bars, the first across the nape and chest, the next three extending onto the dorsal and anal fins, and the last two on the caudal peduncle and caudal-fin base; head with pale yellowish lines radiating from eye, lips whitish.

Females are blackish with four white bars, the first progressively broader ventrally, ending on abdomen, the remaining bars progressively thinner, the last two sometimes faint; head green above, grading to yellow below, with broad blue-edged pink bands, pelvic fins black.

Males similar in colour to females, often with the white bars on body tinged with green, a dark red to black spot behind the eye, smaller irregular black spots on nape, the lower pink band on head suffused with blackish, upper edge of caudal peduncle and fin yellow and lower edge fin half yellow; and green pelvic fins.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Hemigymnus fasciatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jun 2024,

Fiveband Wrasse, Hemigymnus fasciatus (Bloch 1792)

More Info


Usually solitary over sand or sand-and-rubble substrates near sheltered coral reefs at depths of 1–20 or 30 m. Juveniles are secretive, and often shelter near long-spined sea urchins.


Feed by taking a mouthful of sand and detritus, and releasing the sand via the gill opening while sorting prey items in the mouth and pharynx. Larger sandy/coral fragments are ejected from the mouth. They Fiveband Wrasse also consumes larger benthic prey.


Dianne J. Bray

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384124

Biology:Changes sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:30 cm TL

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